The stunning Verdon Gorge is a river canyon in the southeastern section of France. The gorge is home to the Verdon River, known for its starling turquoise waters. The Verdon Gorge is a limestone canyon over 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and up to 2,297 feet (700 meters) deep. The canyon is a popular rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and sight-seeing destination. Either side of Verdon Gorge is easily accessed, and a car ride around the rim is a lovely way to spend a day. The largest nearby towns with the most services and accommodations are Grasse and Aix-en-Provence, with several other smaller towns in the vicinity.
The Grand Canyon is a spectacular destination beyond compare. Located within Grand Canyon National Park in the state of Arizona in the United States, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, 18 miles (29 km) wide, and over 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) deep. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Wonder of the Natural World was carved by the Colorado River over an estimated 17 million years. Now, it tells two billion years of geological history through the layers exposed on its walls. Visitors to the Grand Canyon can enjoy the view from a popular viewpoint on the South Rim. Rafting the Colorado River, or descending the walls of the canyon by hiking or horseback-riding are also popular activities. Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon are also available for tourist willing to splurge. The closest international airports to the Grand Canyon are in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Phoenix, Arizona. From there, visitors can reach the park by car.
In the southwestern part of Utah in the United States lies a wondrous work of erosion – Bryce Canyon. Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is an eroded natural amphitheater rather than a canyon. The most notable features of Bryce Canyon are its “hoodoos”, or geological structures formed by harsh weather erosion caused by wind, ice and water. One of the hoodoos is called Thor’s Hammer because its shape resembles that of a hammer. Visitors to Bryce Canyon can enjoy a scenic drive to 13 viewpoints overlooking the canyon. Tourists can also enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Bryce Canyon is close to both Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, as well as the town of Kanab, Utah, where many visitors to the area choose to find accommodation. Lodging can also be found in Bryce Canyon National Park’s two campgrounds or its lodge.
In Arizona, near the border with Utah, in the United States, you can find a stunning sandstone rock formation called The Wave. The Wave is on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, which are in turn located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau. This formation is actually sand dunes calcified in vertical and horizontal layers, and the fascinating color bands are iron oxides, hematite, and goethite. The Jurassic-age Navajo sandstone making up The Wave is estimated to be 190 million years old. Getting to The Wave requires a moderately difficult 3 mile hike from the Wire Pass Trailhead. Due to the delicate nature of this formation, visitors must arrange a day permit in advance and pay a $7 fee per person. Only 20 of the highly sought-after permits are issued for each day. More info on permits can be found on the Bureau of Land Management website. Camping is not allowed in the permit area, and the closest accommodation can be found in the small towns of Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona.
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon located in Arizona on Navajo land. It was formed over the years by flash flooding that eroded the sandstone. Flash flooding is still a danger to visitors today with the last major flash flood occurring in 2006. Tourists may only visit the canyon with a guide because of this flood danger. There are two sections of the canyon: Upper Antelope Canyon (also called The Crack) and Lower Antelope Canyon (also called The Corkscrew). The Navajo call the Upper Canyon Tse’ bighanilini, meaning “the place where water runs through rocks.” The Lower Canyon is called Hasdestwazi, meaning “spiral rock arches.” The canyons can both be found within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, in Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park. There are entrance fees for both canyons, and these fees provide the Navajo Nation with much needed income.